In an interview Friday with Michael Kay and Dom LaGreca, Sean Marks left no doubt as to who the Nets leader will be this season now that Brook Lopez is gone. It’s Jeremy Lin, but Marks wouldn’t say Lin is untouchable.
“We’ve got young players. He’s definitely the leader of that clubhouse, with his work ethic and the stuff he does in there. He’s tremendous. The guy’s in the gym every single day pushing it. So, he’s some guy our young guys look to and go, ‘wow, impressive.’”
Asked if Lin is someone you count on being here, Marks was just as firm, but offered the caveat that the NBA is a business. Things happen. Lin’s deal has a player option a year from now. He could be a free agent again in 2018.
“We certainly want him around. No question. I mean all those guys now that we have, there’s a reason why they’re on the team. But you never know with anybody what’s going to happen. This is business, this is sports. I think all our guys know that.
“I think it was a shock to all of them to see Brook depart and to be quite frank, it was shocking to all of us. But you know it’s a business. We move on. We break bread together and it’s a game of basketball. All right?”
At Friday’s press conference, Marks noted that after the trade, he talked with Lin, Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson about D’Angelo Russell.
“We’ve talked to Jeremy, Caris, Rondae and the other players, they’re excited about getting a young player with a lot of upside.”.
Lin was already on his phone texting Russell the day the trade news broke. He offered his assessment of the possibilities a pairing with the 21-year-old could bring. Was it a way, perhaps, to assure his fanbase that he wasn’t just cool with the trade. He was embracing it.
“Playing alongside another person who is dynamic makes the game easier. … I’m excited to share the backcourt with him. I’ve already reached out to him. We’ve texted a bit, so it should be cool.”
“I’ve always loved two combo guards playing together. I’ve always been an advocate of that, whether it’s me playing alongside Patrick Beverley or playing alongside Kemba [Walker],” Lin told The Post. “Me and Kemba’s pairing was the most fun I’ve had.”
The Nets are now loaded with young athletic guards, many of whom Kenny Atkinson want to use as combo guards rather than point or shooting guards. Working that out is going to take some work and leadership. And now, Marks has pointed to who he expects to lead it.